Aaron Williams Blog: Welcome to the World of the Hoodoo

I’m gonna tell you how it is, how it REALLY is. The road to stardom starts in your basement…sometimes you have to go back to move forward.

I front the band Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo. A blues and roll trio out of Madison, WI. We feature the rawness and goodness of the cigar box guitar. We’re loud, proud and ready to turn any place into a hot and sweaty juke joint. We’re full frontal and proud of our intense take on the blues. We push the tempo and we take chances live on stage. We want a reaction from the crowd: either like us or walk out…you decide.

Welcome to the world of the Hoodoo. I’m Aaron, gi-tar and lead vocals. I ain’t the best guitar player or the best singer but I’m going to give it to you real. Eric “Chicken Shack” Shackelford is on drums. A drummer that pushes the tempo is the perfect man for this band, always on edge. This guy is a beast on the skins and our love of late 60s rock and roll bonds us. Z, on the bass, is the quiet one that looks like he’ll kick your ass if you talk back while he’s on stage. Covered in tattoos he’s probably the kindest, most honest, most gentle human being I’ve ever met. He’s the rock of this band, holding the groove and bringing Shack and me back to reality. It works, it works great.

Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo (Pictured from left to right, Z, Eric Shackelford, Aaron Williams)

I’m gonna give you the real story—the good, the bad, the funny and the shit you won’t believe, you decide which one. Like the time we’re playing a biker bar trying to make a dime. Two drunk assholes were yelling for “some skynnaaardddd” all night long. After two sets of hearing that, it was time to make the call and this guy didn’t like the call we made. He proceeded to leave the venue while we were playing, came back 15 minutes later with a dead bat in his hand—the animal type not the baseball bat type.

He yelled “skynnnaarrd” one last time and proceeded to bite the head off the bat and throw the body on the ground. His final exit consisted of him spiting the bat’s head near the stage much to the amazement of the patrons enjoying the show. My first thoughts? “Why wasn’t he yelling for Ozzy all night long?” “I wonder if I should tell him to get a rabies shot now?” “Was he really wearing a Hanson tour shirt?”

That is the basement blues. Sometimes, you have to go back to move forward….. that was four years ago. Screw it. I ain’t going back that far. Welcome to the world of Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo. Blues and Roll done the way so many indie bands are doing it these days: one show at a time, one fan at a time, in the trenches seeing the good and the bad people have to offer. It’s hard out there and I’m always going to tell you how it is, how it really is out on the road in today’s Blues/Rock world. Welcome to our world.

– Aaron Williams

Pete Francis

Pete Francis is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Blues Rock Review. Pete founded Blues Rock Review in 2010 because he felt there was a major void in how the blues rock genre was covered. Pete is the host of Blues Rock Weekly and a co-host on the Blues Rock Show.

2 thoughts on “Aaron Williams Blog: Welcome to the World of the Hoodoo

  • Love it! It’s nice to hear someone talk honestly. To many bands only talk about the good and give you the fluff. Keep it real, Aaron!

  • Aaron, most people have no clue as to what we often have to endure as musicians. We often don’t speak of life in the trenches because it is not always pleasant. We don’t want to sound like whiners. You just scratched the surface with this. Missed fights, lost luggage, hours spent in the back of a drafty old van on the way to the next venue, lost sleep, skipped meals, your band mates rancid socks. Not to mention the hours of practice and rehearsal and talking on the phone that make it all possible. It’s a great job but it is far from the glamor and easy life that most people imagine.
    Keep at it fellas. You guys have been around long enough to have earned the respect of the music community here. Now if you can just get the club owners to feel the same way, you’ll have it made. Good luck with that. It’s a tough crowd. All the best guys.


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